Jan Hare ~ 2017

Welcome to my brain...my world! If you've been reading my training diaries for the past 11 years (yes, I was "blogging" before blogging was cool!), then you know to expect the unexpected. What does 2017 have in store for me? I am excited to find out! Hang with me as we go through all sorts of crazy happenings - expecting a foal in February, Noodle's official show debut, Pretzel's return to agility, and who knows what else I have up my sleeve (heck, I don't even know!). I predict fun and frustration, successes and failures, but above all...keep on keepin' on.

By the way, Click on any image on this page to enlarge it.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

It has been raining for 4 or 5 days now. Our property is under water and the dogs are getting stir crazy. OK, let's be honest. I am getting stir crazy! I crave sunshine! I get so down in the dumps when I go a lot of days without seeing the sun.

Anyways, I decided to give the dogs a treat and rent the ARF building for an hour and do some agility training. I did some practice with Pretzel on his backside jumping/"around" command. Noodle was carrying on in her crate, and it fired him up (in a good way)! I think he liked showing off for her.

I did some basic things with Noodle, doing some tunnels and little 4" jumps. We did the A-frame, and the small teeter. She pulled a Pretzel on me and bypassed a jump to go up the dogwalk. This was her first time doing the dog walk, and she had no fear (which scares me!). I did it several times with her, teaching her to drive down to the bottom for a treat. She absolutely loved it! She is a blast to train for agility.

Thursday-Sunday, April 6=9, 2017

AKC Conformation Show - Columbiana, Alabama

We have become true travelin' fools! Off to Alabama we go. I entered this show because we were supposed to go on to Florida after the show for vacation, but due to personal stuff happening we had to postpone the Florida trip until May. However, the entries were made and paid for, and I never like wasting my entry fees! Southward we go...

Noodle was the only class entry all 4 days, so there was no chance of points for her. However, this was a wonderful chance for her to practice in the ring. we had good moments and wild moments. Getting her to stand still is a challenge, and getting her to gait without pulling on the leash is also a challenge. On Friday, they had a special group for the best puppy in each breed. Being the only Weim puppy entered, she got a chance to go to the puppy group. Unfortunately (and doesn't this always seem to happen to me???) the puppy group went on at the exact same time as the owner-handled sporting group. Mark got called in to duty, and he took Noodle in to the group. She was pretty fired up (that is putting it mildly). She ended up getting a puppy group 4....out of 4 sporting puppies. She really took advantage of Mark and pulled hard when being gaited. We have a lot of work to do to get her to gait better. When she gaits around on her own, she is breathtaking. When she pulls on the leash while gaiting, she arches her back and goes crooked. I know, I know, it's a work in progress. Just waiting for the progress part to happen!

Pretzel did pretty well at the show. He was Select Dog three out of the four days, owner-handled best of breed all four days, and earned two Group Twos, a Group Three, and a Group Four in the owner-handled sporting group.

I got to add two more breeds to my list of dogs I've shown - a Boxer (young puppy!) and a Bernese Mountain Dog (big fluffy bundle of love!). I love showing other dogs. This makes 26 different breeds I have shown.

Friday, April 14, 2017

We've had a beautiful couple of days - sunny and high 60's. I spent the past two days working outside, which meant Pretzel and Noodle got to spend the past two days running around on the property. Today I spent most of the afternoon on the mower (first mowing of the year...yay!) and I watched Noodle as she gaited beside me (staying about 10 feet away from the mower at all times - a respectful distance). I am struck with how beautiful she moves. Why on earth can't she move like that in the show ring? Out here, her head is up and her gait is huge and just floats across the grass. When I show her, she wants to pull on the lead (which causes her back to arch) and looks like she is struggling half the time. I know, we need more practice, but it seems the only time she gets crazy revved up and pulls like that is in the actual show ring. It's getting to be very expensive to practice for $30 an entry. I watched her run after Pretzel, and I remember back in the fall when I watched her run she looked so awkward! Now she is poetry in motion. Those long legs can really cover some ground.

I thank God every day that I am lucky enough to live on these 6 acres. What a dream come true this has turned out to be. When I get really down about Corky (who is still struggling with reproductive issues) and her lost babies, I have to force myself to stop and count my blessings. I am lucky in so many other ways.

I forgot to mention that I took Noodle to the vet last Monday to get some medication for a bout of diarrhea she was having, and they weighed her. She weighed in at 56 pounds. That's amazing, because she is so incredibly skinny! She is very tall, but has NO body. I am experimenting with changing foods to get her to eat better. I will find a way to get her fattened up one way or another.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Noodle had a very special visitor today - "Scandals" ("Luxe La Traviata"), her sister/littermate! Scandals came through the gate and they immediately went into a rowdy free-for-all playdate. After a while, we let Pretzel join in on the fun. He was in heaven, getting chased by two girls! It was fun to see the similarities and differences between Noodle and her sister.

And some other news...Corky was bred today. Yup. Here we go again. I am saying very little about this, and I am actually thinking very little about this. I refuse to even let my brain dwell on it for more than a millisecond. I paid the bills, and let nature and the breeding farm manager take care of things. I am going to remain emotionally detached from this one.

Thursday-Sunday, April 20-23, 2017

AKC Conformation Show - Terre Haute, Indiana

This will be our last long show for a while. I am winding down with Pretzel, while winding up with Noodle. Noodle had no competition again at this show, so it was for practice. She did pretty good each day, and I think it is now time to put her up against some competition and see how all of my re-training has gone. Pretzel, well he is thoroughly bored with all of this. We pulled off two best of breed wins, and one owner-handled group 4. that's pretty much it for the 4 days. Rather disappointing. However, we did do beginner Novice Obedience on Saturday and Sunday, and yes, we actually QUALIFIED both days! "New title?" might you ask? Whelp...it would have been if I had paid attention and noticed that this obedience judge was the SAME judge we had in Indianapolis...what are the odds of that? Since all 3 of my qualifying scores came from the same judge, it is not a title yet until I earn a qualifying score form one other judge. Oops! Oh well! I am bummed that because of owner handled sporting group both days (which I got ZILCH in the ring), I had to miss my rally class. I want to earn one more rally Q before heading to Weim Nationals in June. My ultimate goal? To earn my Rally Novice title at Nationals. How cool would that be?

This weekend was a small milestone for Noodle. On Thursday and Friday she was entered in the 6-9 month puppy class, but Saturday was her 9 month birthday so she had to switch to the 9-12 month puppy class for the weekend. My baby is growing up!

The show wasn't a total wash - I got a chance to show two more breeds that I haven't shown before - a couple of French Bulldogs and a Mastiff...woo-hoo! That makes 28 different breeds so far.

Don't judge my footwear - those are cleats because it was cold and dewy out on that grass! Fashion faux pas perhaps, but I stayed upright!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Today was a first for me - I took Noodle to a field/hunt trainer! My friend takes her Weim to him for training, and she invited me to bring Noodle out for an hour lesson where he could test her on some birds. let me tell you it was very interesting. I have had zero interest in doing any hunt tests or field trials, but today was actually a lot of fun. Noodle, of course, loved every minute of it. I am not sure if she is really talented or not (they all said she seemed "birdy" but heck, I can't tell!).

I am really on the fence about this training and whether I will pursue it. This trainer (along with most other trainers) really believe in the use of electronic collars ("e-collars"). I know this training device has it's place, but I am just not comfortable in letting them use one on my 9 month old puppy. She is so happy and excited and loving everything that I throw at her training-wise...I just don't want to squash that enthusiasm. I think she is too young, too soft, and frankly I just don't like the idea. So...I am going to see if there is a way to train for this without having to resort to training devices like this. if there isn't, well, then we will find something else to do.

Some video from our lesson:

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Well, ask and you shall receive! Julie (Noodle's breeder) called me and invited me over today to meet her field trainer and to try Noodle on a couple quail. Guess what? This field trainer (who is also an AKC judge) doesn't train with e-collars! I spent a lot of time talking to him, and he explained how he trains and his philosophies of how to bring out the best in your dog. Right up my alley! we put a couple quail out in the field for Noodle to find, and he let her even catch one (to build drive and excitement). She ran around for a half hour carrying the bird in her mouth. Amazingly, the bird (other than probably dying of a heart attack) was relatively intact - she did not chew it or mess it up at all, just carried it around. It was so cool to see...doesn't she look like a "real" bird dog?

The trainer recommended we wait to train her in the fall when she is a little more mature. I think I am going to do this...crazy, isn't it? I swore I had zero interest in field work, but seeing her enjoy using her instincts was fun to watch. I think I might even bring Pretzel to him and see if he has any instinct. Hey, why not? I need yet another dog sport haha!

Earlier today Pretzel and I had agility class...let's just say I am really worried about the whole agility thing. I have never seen Pretzel so unmotivated. At times he seems to really like it, but most of the time he seems thoroughly bored. It would be really sad to retire him from conformation and agility this summer, but that is a distinct possibility.

Speaking of agility, I made my Weimaraner Nationals entries...ye gads. $656 in entry fees...it's like entering Congress! Noodle will be doing the 9-12 puppy class at the St. Louis specialty and Nationals, and also the puppy sweepstakes. Pretzel will be doing best of breed at the specialty and nationals (though I probably won't bother actually showing him in BOB at nationals), plus Obedience, Rally, and Agility...and I entered both of them in brace (where I show both together at the same time). That will be hilarious! I can't wait!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Tomorrow (after my afternoon jazz gig in Dayton) we leave for Florida!!! Finally, the trip that has been postponed three times may actually happen. I am excited, which means the dogs are excited even though they have no idea why. Of course we managed to find a dog show to stop at on the way down (showing in Franklin, TN on Sunday), and also one on the way back up (Perry, GA on May 10). Yup, we are true dog show geeks...

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Today's jazz gig was a big success, and we headed out from Dayton around 4:30pm. Everything was going great - weather was good, we only forgot a few things (that were able to be purchased along the way), and best of all we stopped for supper in Kentucky at one of my favorite places - Fazoli's! That's when Mark noticed a tire in one of our tires. Yes, our brand new transit with brand new tires...crap!!! Luckily we were only a half mile from Wal-Mart. The tire people were wonderful, they stayed late and worked on our van outside in the heat (since it was too tall to fit in their service bay). we were stuck there for several hours. I played with the dogs, took them for a walk, and they were all-around Weimaraner ambassadors for the customers coming out of Wal-Mart. Hey, ya gotta make the best of things, right?

We made it to our hotel in Franklin, Tennessee a little before midnight. When i made my reservation they neglected to tell me that 75% of the hotel was under construction (or rather de-construction). What a mess. We had to walk the dogs through a muddy, debris-filled construction zone to get to our room. Let's just say today has been an interesting day. Hopefully tomorrow goes up a bit....

Sunday, April 30, 2017 - AKC show in Franklin, Tennessee

Of course we showed first thing at 8:30am...so pleasant after getting next to no sleep last night (nothing like having a couple wild dogs from being pent up in the car all day). Noodle showed great today, she was the only one in her class, and then there was one other in winners bitch. I was really happy with how she gaited - a lot less pulling on her part. We ended up reserve, which was OK. Still a work in progress, right?

Pretzel showed fairly well, albeit a tad lazy. He ended up winning the breed, which was cool. We now had to wait around all day for both the regular sporting group and the owner-handled sporting group.

So what do you do at a show with 5 hours to kill? You practice brace! Yeah, these photos make it look a lot more successful than it actually was. The moments where both dogs were actually going in the same direction were rare. We have a little over a month to get our act together before nationals.

So the regular sporting group came first. I hate when that happens, because the regular group is often such a waste of time for me, and I like to save my dog's energy for the owner-handled group where at least I have a fighting chance. Pretzel was on fire today. He gaited the best I think he has ever gaited - strode out ahead of me with his head up and just stroked around the ring. I guess he must have read Facebook where I mentioned I was retiring him from conformation! I really wasn't paying much attention during the group, trying to keep Pretzel relaxed and saving his energy and enthusiasm for the next group. The final stack was really good, the judge came down the line and looked and looked, and HOLY CRAPOLY he actually pointed to ME to go stand in the first spot. REGULAR SPORTING GROUP ONE!!!! I stood there in disbelief...I thought maybe he was just making a cut? Nope, he pointed to me and said "One". I think maybe I passed out a little (while still standing upright?). What a shocker (and believe me, the other handlers in the group were just as shocked as me). Thank you Mr. James Noe...my new favorite judge haha!

I had to literally RUN over to the owner-handled sporting group. we went right into the ring, and Pretzel continued to show awesome. The judge in this ring also pointed to me for group one...another freaking group one!!! Sweeping both sporting groups

We had to wait several hours for best in show(s). By then, Pretzel was DONE. He didn't show bad, but he was lazy and really sloppy on his free stack. You know, I don't even care...today was so unbelievably amazing, NOTHING can bring me down. Not even another nail in a tire (don't worry, our tires stayed fine the rest of this trip!). Off we go to Florida, a little later than planned, but for what a GREAT reason!

On to MAY, 2017